Bulimia is not just for kids!
(Cincinnati, OH USA)
As I'm exploring Shaye's incredibly warm, detailed and accessible website I'm looking...as I generally do when reading books and articles on eating disorders...for posts by women my age. I'm 43 and have been bulimic and anorexic since I was 18. That's 25 years of living an eating disordered life! There are many women in their 40's 50's and beyond who have never escaped the grasp of their eating disorders, even though the conventional wisdom is that eating disorders only afflict the young. It's amazing to me that my health is as good as it is considering the long-term voracity of my alternating starvation and 5-6 time a day violent binges and purges. While I'm a numb automaton much of the time to the horror of the disorder, there are days when the fear and desperation that I will live out the rest my days this way make me want to run to the phone to purchase a large life insurance policy on myself for my sweet husband. Yes, I've been happily married to my perfect man for 17 years. I'm high-functioning, successful and extremely convincing as a healthy, well-adjusted person. After 25 years I think I've perfected the charade. But I have a choice, as all of us do. When I imagine the possibility of complete recovery I get a little thrill in my tummy (and not from eating an entire pot of oatmeal followed by 6 donuts and a hot chocolate). I can't say how much I appreciate Shaye's brilliant assertion that while there are events in our lives that may initially trigger bulimia, the long-term problem actually becomes neurological. The analogy about the bulimic neural path being the clear and well worn one and that bulimia-free one like a jungle of grass that needs to been trodden and a clear path cut over time with discipline and healthy eating makes sense! I don't want to rehash the upsetting stories in my childhood that started the subplot of the last 25 years of my life, I want a plan with support that with my hard work and good humor, might actually heal me at 43 so that at 44 I might be spending all the money I waste on food that I throw up on that trip to Japan that I've dreamed of! Thanks for listening to this old bulimic girl and please kick bulimia before you've been at it for 25 years...it's a lot of time and joy to waste. Get healthy while you're young!!!!!!!! You deserve it.
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